The Cost of Dating Is Up 40% Since 2013, Survey Finds

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  • Single folks today are spending an average of $1,560 a year to date.
  • There are steps you can take to lower your costs without narrowing your dating pool.
  • Consider keeping first dates casual (and cheap), seeking out free activities, and meeting up for a coffee or other drink to keep your dating costs lower. 

Finding a romantic partner is by no means an inexpensive prospect these days.

Being single has its pros and cons. The upside is that you can live life the way you want to without having to cater to someone else's needs. The downside is that being single can be challenging financially. If you're not coupled up, there's no one to split the rent or mortgage payment with, and no one to potentially bail you out if you were to lose your job.

Then there's the logistical and emotional downside of being single. Even if you're financially stable with a great job and lots of money in your savings account, you might simply want the company of someone to spend your days with. 

It's no wonder, then, that single folks today are willing to shell out quite a bit of money in the hopes of finding a mate. Match's 2022 Singles in America study found that singles are collectively spending over $117 billion a year on their dating lives. That breaks down to an average of $1,560 per year, or $130 per month.

Now, that's a lot of money to be spending even in the best of times. But these days, because everything costs more due to inflation, $130 a month might be a stretch for you.

Of course, a big reason it's gotten so expensive to date is none other than inflation. In fact, the cost of dating has increased 40% over the last 10 years alone. But there are steps you can take to keep your dating costs to a minimum, all while putting yourself out there.

1. Keep things casual

In the aforementioned study, 84% of singles say they prefer a casual first date to one that might involve a high-end restaurant and a large credit card tab. Rather than attempt to wow someone on the first date, find a casual spot and get to know one another over a quick meal or snack.

2. Look at free activities

A good 30% of singles are now more open to doing free activities on a date. Take advantage of that by finding no-cost ways to get to know potential romantic partners, whether it's walking through a local park or checking out free museum exhibits.

3. Stick to coffee or drinks

You don't necessarily have to commit to a full meal for a first date, or even a subsequent one. These days, 25% of singles are more open to meeting a date for coffee or drinks, as opposed to a meal. And that way, if you find that the conversation is strained, you can end the date sooner and avoid the awkwardness of having to wait for your entrees to arrive.

4. Wow your dates with your cooking skills

The cost of preparing a meal at home can be far less substantial than the cost of dining out. If you know your way around the kitchen, offer to cook a meal for a date instead. A good 26% of singles are more open to eating a home-cooked meal versus dining at a restaurant. 

That said, you may want to reserve this option for a second or third date. That way, there's some reassurance that you have a connection with the person in question. And also, from a safety standpoint, waiting might be a better bet.

The cost of dating is likely to remain high as inflation rears its ugly head. But you don't have to go broke in the course of finding your perfect someone. If you're willing to put in the effort and get creative, you can maintain an active dating life without breaking the bank.

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